Student Activities

A Bear's Menu

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Subject:
Math,Science

Background

Working in small groups, students examine the feeding habits of bears and draw pictures to show what bears do in spring, summer, fall, and winter. Students use a small pattern of a grizzly bear and increase its scale to construct a full-size silhouette in order to appreciate the bear’s size. 

Overview

Yellowstone provides habitat for both black and grizzly bears. Although they are different species and each has unique physical and behavioral characteristics, they share similar diet requirements. Their feeding habits determine the locations bears inhabit during the year as food availability changes with the seasons.

Grizzly bears were listed as a “threatened” species in 1975 under the Endangered Species Act. Because of the animal’s great size and need for large unpopulated, tracts of land, Yellowstone has identified specific areas of the park as essential bear habitat, where human use is limited and bears pursue natural behavioral patterns. This management of the land is essential for the protection and recovery of this threatened species. The status of grizzly bears in regards to the Endangered Species Act continues to change as scientists further study the specific requirements of these bears for survival.

Materials

Yellowstone Bears handout, Bear Food Chart handout, Bear Characteristics handout, large circular pieces of paper, markers, crayons, pencils, Grizzly Bear Pattern handout, rulers, drawing paper (total of 8 pieces, each 24" x 36")

Park Connections

Students learn about grizzly and black bears both of which live in Yellowstone National Park. 

Extensions

Look up the current status of grizzly bears in regards to the Endangered Species Act. Discuss what factors were used to determine the current status of grizzly bears. 

Additional Resources

Dolson, Sylvia (2009). Bear-ology: Fascinating bear facts, tales, & trivia. Masonville, CO: PixyJack Press, LLC.

Shapira, Amy, Douglas H.Chadwick (2011). Growing Up Grizzly: The true story of Baylee and her cubs. Helena, MT: Falcon Guide.

Wondrak Biel, Alice (2006). Do (Not) Feed the Bars: The fitful history of wildlife and tourists in Yellowstone. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 

Yellowstone’s Bears 

Materials

Download A Bear's Menu handouts

Last updated: September 10, 2015